This issue, we interviewed Richard Taylor, AIA, owner of Richard Taylor Architects, a Residential Architecture firm in Dublin, Ohio. RTA creates Architecture for clients who value well-crafted, timeless, and thoughtful design; who treasure a sense of place and the meaning of “home”; and who want the place where they live to be a lasting, positive contribution to their community and to the world. For more information, visit their website at www.rtastudio.com.

Q: How are you using social media as a marketing tool?
A: We’re currently using Facebook Pages and Twitter to interact with a community of people who are interested in residential architecture and construction. Both tools give us platforms to offer important information and share insights on getting the most enjoyment from every square inch of their homes – and have a little fun along the way. We’ve also added an e-newsletter and are working on a few content-based products.

Q: What have you found most effective to date?
A: By far, it’s having a clear strategy. When we first began to consider exploring social media (and knew nothing about it), we quickly decided a definite strategy was our first step. It’s amazing how much “noise” exists in the social media world – but having a planned approach helps cut through the clutter and connect with our community.

Q: What are your goals related to social media?
A: We’ve always had a website, and recently added a blog. However, both relied primarily on search engines to be found by potential clients, which is too passive to be effective on the web. Social media is a great way to tell your community about the content you have to share and the skills you have to offer. Our primary goals are to provide quality information to an engaged, interested community; establish ourselves as experts in the field; and drive quality prospects to our blog and website.

Q:Do you have any success stories to share?
A: We’ve seen traffic to our website and blog increase since we implemented our social media strategy. We’ve been contacted by potential clients that have found us through our blog and we’ve landed a few of those clients. We are also finding that we’re attracting the kind of quality clientele that we’ve been marketing towards.

Q: What has been the biggest surprise or learning curve?
A: The biggest surprise is the enormous time commitment. Social media doesn’t like it when you aren’t actively engaged on a regular basis with quality content. Fortunately there are tools out there to help manage your social media world. I lean heavily on HootSuite myself. The biggest learning curve has been (and continues to be) the art of copywriting. There’s so much garbage out there and you have only brief opportunities to catch the attention of your readers … do it wrong and you can turn them off forever!